R Culture || The Art Responds to OUR Society... ||
who we are...
Anthony Gaskins — President & Mastermind firstname.lastname@example.org Nahuel Fanjul-Arguijo — Editor-in-Chief & Design email@example.com in collaboration with
Popular Culture Production www.PCPMedia.us
Mission Statement — PCP Media is an aggregated independent media website high- lighting and promoting indie films, art, music and live events. We aim to empower the youth through these core competencies. PCP Media’s main component consist of provid- ing a safe space for individuals regardless of race, class, gender or creed. Our goal is to educate, entertain and inspire through a sphere of creative cultural context. Our objective is to integrate our content into educational institutions and cultivate students, youth and adults to make a difference in their communities. We strive to deliver substance you won’t find in mainstream media. PCP Media is dedicated to promoting intelligent subject matter with enriched compo- nents of advocating for civic engagement and social justice. We are committed to stimu- lating young minds and contributing to their productivity through the arts, education and community involvement. PCP Media pledges to build collaborative connections between youth and larger institutions and organizations; providing an opportunity to meet work- ing professionals in their field of interest. Our ambition will elevate the ideas of the youth and provide a space for them to engage while producing suggested resources for their advancement. At PCP Media we dedicate our passion, talent and progression to the nur- turing and uplifting of the voices and ideas that have often been ignored. This is OUR take on the world WE live in. R Culture
Open your eyes... Take a peak... You’ll like what becomes of you... TABLE OF CONTENT Page 4 — The Feature Page 9 — Art Feature
Page 12 — The Arts Page 14 — Film
w/ Four Student Photographers •••••
w/ Mike Z.
w/ Leo Bien-Aime (intern extraordinaire)
Page 22 — Culinary Arts Page 24 — Writing
w/ Fabricio Suarez
w/ Stephanie Gardner
Page 16 — Education Page 20 — Music
w/ Nahuel F.A.
w/ Byron Bradley Jr.
w/ Jessie Frank & Raphael Nwadike
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letter from the president “Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbor is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.” - Paulo Coelho To Be Cultured… My little brother recently shot me a text that began with As-Salaam-Alaikum—meaning “peace be unto you.” He isn’t Muslim, nor do either of us speak Arabic fluently, but he knew that I was celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. I responded to his text with a thoughtful chuckle and returned the greeting, “Wa-Alaikum-Salaam” (and unto you peace). We continued our text message conversation with him mentioning that he was in fact cultured. Meaning he was aware and respectful of all cultures different than his own. I tend to look at myself as a person who is in continued evolution and growth. This Ramadan marked my third year of fasting; a month where my goals are to sacrifice food, negative thoughts, and yes, even water, from sun up to sun down in order to remind my conscious that I should continue to maintain a humble observation of the world. This experience each year is full of self-reflection, the development of new habits, while also connecting with family and friends. Most importantly, it’s a time to strengthen my connection with that higher energy that is so hard to define or explain. This world is currently heartbroken by the lack of acceptance of ideals and culture, causing much divide within our social and psychological connections. However, the world shows us that no matter how incredulous the times may be, human expression will always have its place in an impactful and meaningful way. In order to be cultured you must first understand your own culture. So, I ask you, how do you define yourself? What traditional values do you posses? What are you contributing to the world? In this edition you will hear from a variety of different creative individuals expressing and showcasing a version of their culture. We encourage you to enter R Culture Magazine with an understanding that all those who have created, have done so because their passion persuades them, and that the work on display is always presented as a means of collective growth and inclusion. “Just because we are magic, doesn’t mean we aren’t real.” - Jessie Williams Much peace and respect, Anthony Gaskins
meet the editorial team Anthony Gaskins — President & Mastermind — a Californian with strong Las Vegas roots. Anthony is a teacher, budding entrepreneur, writer, producer, and award winning actor. Currenty lives in Harlem, NY. Anthony is the creator of The Day After MLK, the critically acclaimed Interactive Performance Art Exhibit and Social/Creative Arts Institute. You may have seen him in the CBS television series Person of Interest, Elementary, and Madam Secretary. Anthony was last seen Off-Broadway as “Michael” in the Here Arts Center world premiere of You Are Dead. You Are Here. Film credits include Crazy Beats Strong Everytime, The Jerk Theory, Inside, Weight Classes, Fallout and‘Cell. Anthony is a graduate of the American Repertory Theater, Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Nahuel Fanjul-Arguijo — Editor-in-Chief & Design — raised in as many different settings as there are ways to pronounce his name... (Nah-well is best, thank you). From Tucuman, Argentina, to a small place named Damascus, MD. From large public schools to small private high school in Bethesda, MD. Then Providence College, where he began working in jounalism, from Arts & Entertainment writer to Associate Editor-in-Chief of The Cowl, Providence College’s student run newspaper. Since then, he has worked for Apple, for a TV network in LA, and finally in at The Calhoun School, where he is currently. Nahuel resides in Brooklyn, NY.
RCultureM firstname.lastname@example.org Mixtape Blue
A CULTURAL IDENTITY by: Nahuel Fanjul-Arguijo
Culture. History. Identity. Heritage. Blood. Lineage. Ancestry. Roots. Birthright… I could keep going on-andon-and-on with different names for the same concept. I could go on-and-on-andon about what it means to me and how I show mine… well, actually, I will. Because it took too many years for me to realize the importance of my identity—my culture— numerous years that I am embarrassed to admit here now, but will. My journey first took me from Tucuman, Argentina, to Damascus, Maryland. I talk about this first move a lot. The change in scenery, in cultures, in attitudes, was big. Not something I totally understood as a 10-yearold, but something I now look back on and see with astonished eyes. I partly blame my surrounding, and partly my incapability to understand the importance
Feature of my culture, for the way this all happened. Growing up in a vastly contrasting places in the States, I had been beaten down to loose my culture— my identity—throughout the years. “Beaten” might be a strong expression, but throughout the years I was made to feel like I had to hide it because it was outside the norm, outside the uniform of the United States of America that I was growing up in. But my name kept my strings close to my lineage, my name kept reminding me who I am, and my name kept me grounded to the roots that were embarrassingly close to withering. Nahuel Fanjul-Arguijo. To this day, I can’t say that anyone in the States has pronounced my name the right way. That
is not entirely their fault, many have tried with sincerity, and most just don’t have the muscles in their tongues to pronounce the rolling “R” in Arguijo or ignore the silent “H” in Nahuel. But what is actually troubling, and the focus of this piece, is that most who I’ve come across in my early years in the States, have dismissed my name, jumbling it into something easier for them to pronounce, and most have ignored my constant reiterations of “NahWell,” morphing my name into Noel, or Nolle, or Nawho-ell, or even Noah, timeand-time again, because it
was the (little) effort they cared to make to understand my name—my birthright. As a child, having people of importance not take my name seriously is very disheartening. It made me place the blame on myself, on my “weird name,” instead of their incapacity to understand my background and my heritage. Teachers, coaches, best-friend’s parents. People who I looked up to, and who took part in my upbringing, wouldn’t put in the effort to let me be who I am and teach
geographical name | Na·huel | \nä-’wel\ Definition of Nahuel Popularity: Bottom 10% of words Nahuel is a proper name of Mapuche origin, and mostly, popular in the south of Chile and the south of Argentina. Its etymology mean jaguar in the Mapuche language. There exists approximately 10,000,000 persons registered in the world with this name. Mixtape Blue
6 me to be proud of where I come from. My name is the first thing I was given in this world. After my name came my family—my blood. Then came my home—my roots and my ancestry. And finally came my self—my identity. When I moved away from my home, leaving my family behind, I had to become a new self, surrounded by new history and new customs. Unfortunately, the new culture I was brought into was one that knew nothing about Argentina or my culture, and worst of, cared not to learn.
The new world I was brought into was one where adults believed Argentina to be in Europe, where most didn’t know if I spoke Spanish or Portuguese, and who just thought our culture was just “soccer” and nothing else. Now, I can’t blame the people because of the educational system that they are burdened with, but I can blame them for choosing to be ignorant. I can blame them for continually asking me about Brazil even though I’ve corrected them a thousand times that I am from Argentina (a mistake
ARGENTINA vs. CHILE Copa America Finals June 26, 2016
Although the result was hearthbreaking, the pre-match celebration and the game itself was something I could enjoy every weekend for the rest of my life. There is a certain joy I get from watching my national team perform, something that is hard to explain and even harder to match. A joy I hope to keep enjoying though life. A plus this day was getting to watch the greatest player in the history of the sport. Lionel Messi has a touch and a way with the ball that has never and will never be matched. Again, the result this game, including Messi’s spot-kick, were not what I hoped for, but the joy of getting to witness my team and this star are something I’ll cherish for life. All the photos in this article were taken during the pre-match celebration at MET Life Stadium, New Jersey, where myself and thousands of Argentinean fans could be found singing, cheering, screaming, showing our pride more than five hours before the first whistle blew. I’ll forever remember this day.
that hurts even more considering that Brazilians are our bitter rivals in the football world). So, after countless run-ins with these questions, with this ignorance, I would break down. I would start to just nod my head when asked about Europe (even though I had never been), I would continually answer to every random way my name was pronounced (even by adults who I would know for years). I would quietly lose my culture day-after-day. I moved to Damascus, Maryland, in the third grade. Sophomore year of high school I transferred to a private school in Bethesda, Maryland. I went off to college in Providence, Rhode
Island. Then moved to Los Angeles when I graduated. That was more than a decade of my name being trampled on, my culture being pushed aside, my identity being molded systematically by groups of people that chose not to understand, that chose not to care. Of course, I have to remember the many friends I came across through life that loved my culture and helped me see glimpses of why I should show it off. But those were few-and-far-between. A drop of trueness in a sea of conformance is hard to grow on. I always had those peeks of cultural awareness that I needed in my life, but then someone who I believed to be close to me would come
7 out and call me “Noel” and I would remember that my culture was too hard for them to understand, was too hard for them to take in. After I-don’t-know-howmany years, I broke. Some time between those years I stopped caring, just how they cared not. I began to mold myself to fit in. I stopped listening to Charlie Garcia and picked up Blink-182 (nothing wrong with Blink, but it was another step away from my cultural sound). I started paying attention to baseball and American football, because my version of football was not popular. And slowly, but surely, I kept loosing my identity, creating a new one that would fit the mold of the American dream
that I apparently came here to chase. This is all very hard for me to admit, it’s hard for me to open up about. It’s truly embarrassing to announce to the world that I gave up my culture for years because of my new surroundings and what these new surroundings believed to be “important.” It’s hard for me to share that I was weak and that I took the road most traveled, because everyone else took it and I wanted to be accepted. I hate that it took cultural awareness to become so crucial in the States for me to realize that I should be wearing my colors proudly, and I praise anyone that grew up in the
8 times I did and kept their culture as a priority. When I moved out to Los Angeles I began to realize how important culture and heritage is. I began to emerge myself in my history: listening to music from Argentina, watching films by Argentineans, falling back in love with Boca Juniors (the greatest team in the world). I started to realize what had happened, and also realizing that it is okay to keep my culture and my heritage while surrounded by people with theirs. Just because there are more of them, doesn’t mean that I have to join, I can keep my own, celebrate mine, while they celebrate theirs. I had lost so many years of celebrating my culture and I had to make a change. I started pushing people, sometimes aggressively, to say my name right. I started talking more about my heritage and showing everyone the merits of what my people have created. And when I decided to leave Los Angeles, I took off to spend a year back in my home town, drowning myself in
what I missed out for so many years: my family, my culture, my roots, my home. The year in Argentina gave me time to find artists that were historic to my country but new to me. Writers who I always heard of but never read. Music my father listen to, but that I never gave a chance to. And although a year is not a lot of time, considering the decade I spent hiding from my culture, it was a necessary start. It was a beginning I had been waiting my whole life to start. It was a resurgence that I had paused for over a decade and it was now flowing out of me with speeds hard to keep up with. It’s the beginning of something beautiful—a beautiful birthright that is actually alive in me now. My culture is rich. My country celebrates its bicentennial the weekend this magazine is released. I could not be more proud of myself for breaking free from the system that tried to make me be like everyone else, that tried to make me hide who I was so that I would fit in. The timing is primed for me to celebrate like I now know how. With an albicelete flag draped around my shoulders and the colors running through my blood. With Los Piojos blasting through my speakers and my voice hoarse from screaming “O JUREMOS CON GLORIA MORIR!”
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO Rock Nacional from Argentina spans more than 50 years. And yes, it’s all good. Here’s what I’m currently listening to:
1. Charly García 2. Sumo 3. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs 4. Pappo’s Blues 5. Enanitos Verdes CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST OF 50 MOST IMPORTANT BANDS FROM ARGENTINA CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST OF 50 BEST SONGS FROM ARGENTINA
Nahuel F.A. is a writer and photographer, currently living in Brooklyn, NY. You can follow his writing at www.nahui-day.com You can follow his photography at: www.instagram.com/n_fanji (@n_fanji)
Photographers in New York City are a-plenty—from tourists aiming at the tall buildings to the inspired-semi-pro who just enjoy shooting up the city. And, of course, there are the true professionals who chose the most beautiful city in the world as their home. (SIDE NOTE: RIP Bill Cunningham, you’re forever a great) Sometimes, within the 35mm and DSLRs, you find some green gems. It is truly incredible how these gems can be so young in age and in experience, yet blow your mind with their composition and passion. This is the story of four high school students and their journey growing up photographers in their city: Sydnie L. Hyams, 16 10th Grade
Canon Rebel T4I & Vivitar 35mm
I have been doing photography for fun for about six years, but I’ve been doing it seriously for three. Photography is a way to capture moments. A box of film is full of potential memories, and I like to capture those. Certain songs can bring back memories, and I would like my photos to do the same. Some photographers I like include Petra Collins, Annie Leibovitz circa 1970 and Lauren Greenfield. My favorite thing to photograph is people. I do photography for myself.
Rea Brayshaw, 16 10th Grade
iPhone & Fujifilm x-Pro 1 How long I’ve been doing it: 6 years. A picture is worth a thousand words, that’s why I love to take photographs. It’s time machine, you capture a time, place, and story all in one... exactly how it is. Other arts can bend reality and make it seem like something else, whereas photography captures a truth. I love to photograph people and architecture. As cheesy as it sounds, I take photos for the generations to come, to show them what things were like. To remind myself in 50 years of what I did in my life.
Gus Grossman, 15 9th Grade Bessa r2a I started taking it seriously like 6 months ago. Some photographers who’s work I enjoy are Pat O’Rourke, Bobby Dekeyzer and Niko Krijno. There is so much that can be done and so many different types of photography. Hopefully I can attend an art school for a BFA in photography, so it can put me on the path to figuring out where I would like photography to take me. For the most part, I am self taught with the exception of some of my friends who have showed me some stuff, but I don’t know I guess the best way to learn is by just going out taking a bunch of pictures and looking at other photographers work.
Jack Cooper Grossman, 18 12th Grade
Canon T3 / Kodak Funsaver / Fujifilm 300 Wide Instax / iPhone 6 I really started to take photography more seriously sophomore year of high school. I love photography because it allows me to capture moments throughout my life and always having a visible relic to refer back too. Whether it’s pictures from a tropical vacation to a picture of my block I walk down every day, I will forever have that memory stored. For most my pictures, I can remember a lot of the background information, from the weather that day or sometimes even my mood at the time. I also love to capture street scenes throughout New York. I take pictures for myself really, nothing is better then capturing the right shot and seeing how it comes out. I get frustrated if I don’t have a camera on me and I miss the opportunity to take a picture of a scene or just something I find beautiful. As a history lover, I like to pictures of a range of different sites throughout the city as a record to this current time period. It would be really cool if someone in 2090 would look back at my photos and see what life was like 2016; similar to a time capsule. I plan to keep taking pictures up in Vermont during college and will see what happens there. I will definitely continue to take pictures on the daily for a long time.
Fabricio Suarez was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1978. As a kid, he could always be found drawing and painting. He was only eight, when he discovered an ad for cartooning courses in in the back of a magazine. This would set in motion the passion and practice of art that propels him still today. At the age of 15, he immigrated to New Jersey with his family. Always with the intent of becoming an artist, but unable to attend college, Fabricio moved to England and was able to live for three years between New Jersey, London, and Malta. Traveling through Europe, he visited The Louvre and Prado, The Tate and Reina Sofia, among others. Inspired by seeing in person the works of Gaudi, Picasso, Salvador Dali, and the Old Masters, he came to study in NYC with vivid enthusiasm. In 2001, Fabricio received the David Rhodes Scholarship and attended the School of Visual Arts, majoring in Illustration and Painting. After graduating, he took freelance work as an illustrator for a publishing company. Feeling disenchanted with the commercial aspect of his job, he stopped doing illustrations and started focusing on oil painting. It was a trip to Istanbul that inspired a semi-abstract painting; combining the absence of representational art with the ideas of the real world. This painting, named The Callings or Las Llamadas, combined the spirit of the Carnival parade of Candombe—an African descendant musical theater tradition in Uruguay—and the Islamic “call” to prayer at the mosques. A connection with history opened up Fabricio’s current work, which is inspired by his research into the European colonization of South America. His works walk the line of abstract expressionism and realism. He starts his work by covering the surface and letting the paint flow, allowing textures to form. Then, by manipulating the paint with smudges and scrapes, he imitates nature, humanity and violence, bringing air and depth to calm and chaotic scenes.
1 R Culture
Inspired by Travel, Inspire with Culture. FOLLOW HIS JOURNEY
www. fabriciosuarez.com @ fsuarezart on Instagram —o—
1. Las Llamadas 2. La Cima 3. M igration 4. Planta Dragon 5. Diosas 3 4
Film STEPHANIE GARDNER is a New York City
and Lehigh Valley, PA based writer and director for film and theatre. She received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Asia. Stephanie has participated in master classes and screenwriting workshops where she wrote and developed feature screenplays under the tutelage of Oliver Stone (Platoon), Todd Solondz (Happiness), Richard Wesley (Uptown Saturday Night), and Sabrina Dhawan (Monsoon Wedding). Additionally, Stephanie has written and directed over 15 short films. As a freelance filmmaker and playwright, past clients include Elie Wiesel, Yale University, Urban Stages, and Miller Symphony Hall. Stephanie worked as a first and second round reader for the 2015 Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. Her film And If I Stay, played NewFilmmakers NY at the historic Anthology Film Archives, and was selected by the International Festival of Cinematic Arts LA. Stephanie directed the music video for Love Yourself by Tha Gecko Brothers, which speaks out against domestic violence, and it played at the 2015 Harlem International Film Festival. Her most recent film, If I Had A Piano (I’d Play You The Blues) has won Best of Show at the Greater Lehigh Valley Filmmakers Festival; an Award of Merit: Special Mention through the Accolade Global Film Competition; and has been nominated for Best Short Foreign Language Film, and Best Director of a Short Foreign Language Film at The International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema NICE 2016. Additionally, If I Had A Piano is an Official Selection of the Taos Shortz Film Festival, New York No Limits 2015 Film Summit, NewFilmmakers NY, Columbia Gorge International Film Festival, and the European Film Festival.
Stephanie Gardner’s film If I Had A Piano (I’d Play You The Blues) is an explorative romance in five movements: a cinematic dance exploring love, sensuality, and desire. The Portuguese language film stars Pedro Carmo and his wife, Ana Maria Carmo. The plot centers around the couple illicitly parked in a car on the streets of Jackson Heights, Queens, where we are then swept into the imaginations of these characters’ desires— represented by the landscape of Emmaus, Pennsylvania—and shown a dream-like world as if they were completely together as lovers, without inhibition. This cinematic art piece has a final cut just under six minutes. “It’s crazy how much effort we put into such short pieces,” says Stephanie,“but I view this piece as a reflection of love and romance, and how sometimes the best moments in life are fleeting.” “The reason I keep coming back to romantically themed pieces is because it is such a universal concept: love and sex. This language is spoken and understood all across the world, no matter what your origin is. And if we can speak a common language, we can tap into so much more in terms of understanding others; other cultures, other beliefs.” The cross-over between reality and fantasy is a common theme in Stephanie’s work. Every artist has an obsession and I guess you could say this one is hers. If I Had A Piano is the most recent attempt to capture this theme in her films. “One day, a thought popped into my head, that 50 percent of life is lived for the fantasy,” reminisces Stephanie, “and I sought to bring this idea to fruition in the form of an experimental short film.”
All humans, on all levels of society have desires (some healthy, some not) and it is the fantasies that often keep us going through life, or bring a smile to our face when we escape into the fantasies of our mind. Cinema, for some, is a form of escape, and it can be a beautiful way to temporarily live out fantasies and see desires erupt on screen in a nondestructive way. Instead of being focused on story and characters, Stephanie decided to focus If I Had A Piano on mood and sensuality, in hopes that the film would provide the viewer with a brief escape and leave them with deep feeling. “I believe if a film can stir up some questions and conflicting emotions, perhaps it will open a portal into the heart and mind, open up questions you never knew you wanted to ask yourself. After all, filmmaking is about the journey, and it’s one meant to be shared between auteur and audience.” To this note, Stephanie believes that cinema is a global language and a powerful tool that can bring artists and audience together from around the world in a shared experience. In the making of If I Had A Piano (I’d Play You The Blues), she brought together an international team of filmmakers to create this passion piece. Director of Photography, Shivani Khattar, is from India; Ana Maria and Pedro Carmo, the lead actors, are from Portugal; Assistant Camera operator, Gavin Ramoutar, is from Guyana; Key Grip, Alex Podolyanchuk, is from the Ukraine; and the post production Sound Design team is led by Marko Ventola who is from Finland; the rest of the team, including Stephanie, is from the U.S. “Today as an independent filmmaker, my goal is to use
Gardner cinema as an artistic tool that helps to bridge the gap of misunderstanding and intolerance between cultures,” reveals Stephanie, “currently, I have a special interest in Mexico, the Carribbean, and Central America, because growing up in America, we sometimes forget (or are never taught) that these countries are all part of one shared continent, and are our closest neighbors, who should also be our closest friends.” History has made this notion difficult, and as a result, there are a lot of pre-conceived notions about Central America (and beyond) here in the United States that are baseless and misinformed. Now more than ever, Stephanie feels it is important to celebrate our similarities as neighboring societies, as opposed to our differences. “I believe that film is a universal language and a powerful artistic tool to help celebrate communication and positive relationships across cultures.” Stephanie believes there are several ways to begin to achieve these goals: her first step is to make films as collaborations between talented artists originating from various countries around the world. “Cinema is a shared language; the emotions represented in film
is often universal; someone can watch the same film in Argentina or Iran or Australia and feel similar emotions to their counterparts in other parts of the world. Cinema has the power to bring locations and characters and stories from around the world to other parts of the world that would not normally get to see these landscapes, meet these people, or hear these stories.” In an endeavor to begin to achieve these goals, Stephanie’s current film project, entering pre-production now, is a trilogy of short comedic films centered around a bottle of Mezcal, an agave based liquor from Mexico. “Here I will use Mezcal as a metaphor for misunderstandings between cultures. This triptych of films, so to speak, is entitled, Para Todo Mal…Para Todo Bien: The Mezcal Trilogy. Each of the three films will be bi-lingual (half of the dialogue in Spanish and the other half in English) and will thematically center around mishaps that happen due to language barriers and cultural misunderstandings.” In the meantime, Stephanie hopes you will enjoy If I Had A Piano (I’d Play You The Blues) and remember to look, see, listen, and feel as you embark through the world.
WATCH THE FILM HERE: If I Had A Piano (I’d Play You The Blues) LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FILM HERE: www.ifihadapiano.com/ Stephanie’s bio and website: www.thestephaniegardner.com
It is difficult to start this. Even as I sit to write, there are a range of feelings and emotions ruminating in the brain and body. They are generated by my own experiences and ideas combined with reactions to witnessing the progression of events that feels like business as usual: One of the arresting officers in the Freddie Grey case was acquitted of all charges(1); George Zimmerman auctioned off the firearm he used to kill Treyvon Martin and got $250K for it(2); Cannabis is legal in Colorado but somehow black and brown people are still getting arrested, and at higher rates than before the laws were instated(3); People continue to die in custody, this time at Rikers (definitely not the first time, a quick search
reveals at least three other high profile deaths at Rikers in the last few years)(4). All of this sounds bad, and it is. The investigation of whiteness and the pursuit of social justice in general requires a purposeful increase of one’s awareness around issues such as these, and it can feel overwhelming and hopeless. There is a temptation to retreat into the safety blanket that is whiteness and just stop paying attention. After all, we don’t have to pay attention to that which doesn’t effect us. Many white folks do choose to look away, consciously or not. Fortunately, since deciding to attempt a removal of the metaphorical blinders into which I was born, the false luxury of retreat has become distant and unavailable. What is becoming apparent,
and is referenced in my first post(5), is that the pain of observing the fallout from white supremacy is in many ways easier to bear than the internal damage brought on by the blinders. That said, there must be a way to ease the discomfort and continue the work in a way that will not ruin the spirit. The remainder of this post will focus on effective ways I have found to maintain engagement in the pursuit of social justice in good health, both mental and physical: 1. Education: There are so very many kinds of knowledge. The structures of power that have generated the society in which we live are deeply rooted in history, and there are countless historical resources in and out of academia that can be accessed to gain knowledge.
The goal is to learn from as many perspectives as possible and make comparisons. History is not one linear narrative, it is an amalgam of the lived experience of everyone, though the popular record may not always be reflective of that fact. It can take a good deal of work to find varying stories, and reading it requires a measure of historiography so that no one text is accidentally accepted as fully true. That said, the digging around has revealed that the work in which we engage now, to strive for equality and universal dignity, is not new. This information has proven to be quite restorative. 2. Love: I would be nowhere in this work without the people held deeply in my heart. All the folks, and especially my
17 partner for life, with whom conversations, questions, fears, information, and above all, honesty, are so readily shared, encourage me to continue this work. For that I thank you deeply. This also refers to love expressed towards others, personally and globally. Trying to love other and different people requires a de-centering of the self and can lead to a recognition that the other people deserve humanity, just like you.
3. Women and non-men: This idea will
be expanded on in another day, but to put it briefly here, my experience has shown the majority of white people (but also people of color) engaged in this work are women or genderqueer. Still speaking from experience, they tend to bring a warmth and understanding to the work that can be lacking in white men. It probably has something to do with guys receiving privilege from being white and also male at the same time, which produces quite heavy blinders not easily shrugged off. But again, this will be expanded on in a later post. 4. Comrades: Soldiers. Allies. As a student of history, I can not help but think of this work in military terms. To engage in the work is to join the battle, and it becomes clear who is in the trenches with you. These are the people encountered at affinity meetings. The people who
choose to attend the optional meetings regarding social justice. The folks at rallies and marches. The 2500 attendees at the WPC. Prior to attending the conference I was fearful that much of the work being done happened in isolation, which hindered progress. I had no more than an abstract awareness of any sort of broader, global front. The conference changed the way I saw it, to great benefit. To come back at first was challenging. It forced a confrontation of how small our little squadron is here at home. Plus business as usual. Over the last month, as I’ve been thinking about it, however, the idea of our group in isolation has shifted. The situation seems to more closely resemble a system of cells operating independently but towards a similar goal. There may not be a clearly defined leadership structure, and the independent groups may not know what each is doing, but it is clear that there are many,
many folks out there lighting fires and kicking ass in the name of social justice. One of our strongest weapons is networking and connectivity. There are spaces where working across identity lines makes sense, like the WPC, and then there are spaces where more experienced facilitators need to bring the work back to their own communities. Seeing each other, opening our hearts, and listening are of the utmost importance. This is not to say white folks need to rush out and save everyone else. It means white folks need to find spaces that allow us to listen to everyone else, to see their stories as valid. We then need to use our expanded perspective in the work with other white folks to de-center whiteness and white culture and, ideally, eliminate the pieces that have
caused so much damage over time. In conclusion, the WPC provided the most positive and affirming experience I encountered since beginning my own journey into this work. I felt emotionally and intellectually elevated after the weekend and coming down back into reality afterward was jarring, to say the least. The process of reflection on the experience, however, has expanded the way I think about this work, and in many ways improved my ability to connect with it on a personal level. I hold deep gratitude in my heart for all of the folks involved and I hope the conference and its work year-round continues to expand and spread light. LINKS: (if readying online, links are clickable in article) (1)www.cnn.com/2016/05/23/us/freddie-gray-trialofficer-edward-nero/ (2)www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36354206 (3)www.buzzfeed.com/amandachicagolewis/ marijuana-arrests-down-in-colorado-for-whiteteens-up-for-bl?utm_term=.mo1r72vGR#.irgJpZv5W (4)www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ family-rikers-inmate-died-cell-seek-justicearticle-1.2654884 (5)thesmogwebreathe.weebly.com/ home/the-smog
PCP Media’s First Intern Shares His Experiences
Leo “Most Influential” Bien-Aime
Working with PCP Media and R Culture Magazine has been a great experience for me during the past six weeks. The founder and mastermind, Anthony Gaskins, is so easy to work with. Anthony is a dreamer, and whatever he has on his mind he does his best to execute it. He is constantly collaborating with people, and only brings positive vibes. Because of all of this, my experience with PCP Media has been amazing. Without hesitation he has given me a platform to share my thoughts and opinions, and I have been put in contact with some great people who I can collab with in the future. This internship was only supposed to last six weeks, but I plan to continue working with him and R Culture Magazine. PCP Media has given me a new voice and a platform that I can use whenever I need to.
Top 5 Personality Picks
By Leo “Most Influential” Bien-Aime Get to know influential CYP’s (Creative Young Professionals) and their Top 5 Personality picks! Highlighting the interest of selected individuals who have a significant awareness on particular subjects. Being a basketball fanatic, I was tempted to just write about my top five basketball players, but I thought that it would be too boring. However, I love a bunch of other sports as well. As a fan of sports in general, my favorite event to watch is the Summer Olympics (you better believe that I am hyped for the 2016 summer games in Rio). It doesn’t get much better than bringing all of the top athletes from around the world to compete against each other on the world’s greatest stage. So, since I will be studying sports management next year at Ithaca College, why not stick to the overall theme of sports and write about my top five athletes in any sport.
#2 Ronaldinho: Growing up in a Haitian household, it is almost guaranteed that soccer is
always being watched. All Haitians are either fans of Brazil or of Argentina. My dad is a die-hard Brazil fan, so because of that, I have been watching them pretty much since birth. You can’t talk about Brazilian soccer without mentioning Ronaldinho. Every time I saw him play, I would dread the ref’s final whistle. His dribbling skills were impeccable. He was a nightmare for any defender because of his agility and lightning quick speed. His control with the ball was phenomenal no matter how fast he was going, and he had an endless amount of tricks in his bag. He is one of the greatest ever, there will never be another Ronaldinho.
#3 Usain Bolt: If you say “fast,” the first thing I think of is Usain Bolt. There is not much that
needs to be said about him, because even if you do not know anything about Track & Field, you know who Usain Bolt is. He holds the World Record in the 100 meter and the 200 meter sprint, and was part of the fastest 4x100 meter team ever. In the last two Olympics, he has won gold medals in all three of these events, and with the 2016 Rio Olympics right around the corner, he plans on completing yet another sweep, a feat that has never been done before.
#4 Russell Westbrook: Out of all the athletes on my Top 5, Russell Westbrook is probably the
most outstanding to me personally, since he posses all the traits needed to be a great overall athlete. He has speed, quickness, phenomenal leaping ability, strength, outstanding stamina, and an undeniable will to win. He is one those rare athletes that you watch and know he could be great at any other sport due to his outstanding athletic traits. It’s often hard to differentiate whether he is playing in the first quarter of the fourth quarter of a game because Westbrook—or should I say “Westbeast”—simply does not get tired. He is just a machine, and watching him play is something special.
#5 Shaquille O’Neal: Who doesn’t like Shaq? You might not know about basketball, but you know who Shaq is. He is truly one of a kind. Even when standing at 7’1” and weighing 300 lbs., Shaq can still move! During one point in his career, Shaq was a 7-foot point guard on the court. He was a locomotive with the ball. He was one of the first centers—and definitely the first guy his size—who could take the ball coast-to-coast. He was deceivingly quick. His spin move, nicknamed “The Black Tornado,” was unstoppable. For a man Shaq’s size to spin off a defender with the quickness of a guard is amazing to me. He required double-teaming, and the occasional triple-teaming, in order to be stopped. With accolades that match any other player, Shaq goes down in history as one of the most dominant to ever play the game of basketball. R Culture
(if you’re reading online, you can click here to watch the highlight videos)
#1 Dwyane Wade: If you know me, you know that Wade is not only my favorite basketball player of all time, but also my favorite athlete of all time. I remember watching him for the first time and being in awe. Dwyane Wade, whose nickname is “Flash” due to his lightning quick speed and agility, can get to the basket at will, no matter who is in front of him. He is also a lock-down defender and has the ability to do a little bit of everything on the court. After 12 all-star appearances, an Olympic gold medal, and three NBA Championships, I believe Dwyane Wade has solidified himself as one the greatest basketball players of all time.
125 PRODUCTIONS Showing What Passion and Drive Can Create
Music by Le o Bien- A ime
What If I told you that a group of high schoolers produced a seven track mixtape in just two-and-a-half days. Would you believe me? April session is three-day period when students at Calhoun engage in programs such as boating lessons, learning to cook for college, making music, and much more. It is a way to relax after finishing up the semester—usually an incredibly stressful time in the Upper School—and take time to study something outside the curriculum. Most students enjoy themselves learning some new skills, but the boys in this music project got straight to business. They didn’t have time to waste, so they dove right in. They call themselves Productions 125. What I found so impressive about their project was what they were able to accomplish in just three days. The students produced a
mixtape that had dope cover art for each track, sick beats, and pretty impressive lyrics. With a group of about 20 high school boys, a big part of their success was attributed to the approach. It wouldn’t have been possible for all of them to work on the same thing at once, so 125 Productions decided to divide and conquer. All of the artist worked with Keizo Fish, who gave a presentation about cover art, and focused on artist who are infamous for their amazing cover art (like Kanye West). Everyone who was interested in making beats, mostly freshman, worked with Jess Belardi, who goes by the name Aquaghost on Soundcloud. He is incredibly passionate about producing
beats, and he is constantly working on his craft. He showed the basics of making beats, and explained what makes a beat hot. He got some help from two seniors, Adam Krevlin and Austin Lichtenstein, who together form a group named SUEDE.TRACES. Lincoln Hart, the mastermind behind the project, worked with the lyricists. Not everyone in the group had experience on the mic like Lincoln, so he first had all the students freestyle, to see where people were at. This is not the first time Lincoln has led a workshop on rap. I was curious to see if he had a process. It is hard to get someone to just come up with words on the spot. One thing he told me was that “it is always good to rap about stuff you know, a lot of times I have
people write down stories or experiences they’ve had in non- rap form, and then I can help them turn it into a rap.” 125 Productions was made up of people from completely different backgrounds, who have experienced totally different things. In the music, the artist talk a lot about their experiences living all over New York—in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Harlem, and the Upper West Side. The greatest thing about all of this was the relationships created during the process. Nothing brings people together like music, and everyone was invested in this project 110%. It is crazy to think what 125 Productions could have created if they had a full week or two.
Byron Bradley Jr.
The Food Corner
How do you define yourself? I define myself as a man of prideful patience and understanding. My foundation has taught me to understand good things come in good time in a metaphorical sense to every word; good things aren’t always what you may want or ask for, and good time won’t always be what you expect. I am proud of where I come from and the circumstances born unto me. I’m proud of the man I am becoming and the dreams I am inspired to accomplish.
When did you realize the importance of being a good cook? When I was getting out of the military I decided to build a career based on goals I aspire to achieve versus appointed titles due to natural ability. I deciphered childhood interests into life-long passions to work towards.
What type of food do you enjoy most? Creole and Caribbean cuisine. They are the cuisines I was raised around, and now what I study to specialize in as a professional chef.
What role does your environment play in your creative process? I know I am inspired more by what I see over what I imagine. In favor of this fact, I surround myself with inspirational people and places so I can continue to challenge my creativity and push myself to further limits.
How do you balance inspiration with uniqueness? I think respect should always be shown in the authentic ways of doing anything, but I personally strive to create new; inspired by the tradition. I recreate what I see with my own uniqueness.
Who are some of your favorite Chefs? The elders of my family, including my mother and father, are the best chefs I know. My list of favorites is composed by experiences I have had with these chefs personally. Chef John Besh has been a tremendous influence and supporter to my progression as a chef, from conversations to investments in my career. Chef Aaron Sanchez is also a major contributor, by continuous support and offering opportunities to better myself as a chef. R Culture
23 Give us your Top 5 tacks you enjoy listening to while you get your chef on?
1. Maxwell, “The Suite Theme” 2. FKA Twigs, “How’s That” 3. Sade, “I Cherish The Day” 4. Sweetback, “Walk Of Ju” 5. Billy Paul, “Me and Mrs. Jones”
Tell us about your hobbies, outside of providing the world with amazing grub? I’m a very active person and a slight adrenaline junky. I quite often skateboard for my cardio workouts at a skatepark I’m investing into. I also rock climb and am getting into yoga. Besides that, I’m also an artist. I host random art shows throughout the year and I have a gallery where I keep a majority of my work displayed. As well, I’m a barber, I’ve participated in various hair shows and modeling events cutting hair.
Bayou Chicken and BeerBraised Potatoes by Byron Bradley Jr. Herb Roasted Chicken, Smothered Potatoes, Braised Cabbage, Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob (optional) and a Tomato Butter Sauce
(yields 4 servings)
Any section of the chicken 1/2 red cabbage bulb 1 roma tomato 1 carrot 1 st celery 1 lg onion 3 garlic cloves 3 russet potatoes 2 whole corn cobs 1qt chicken stock 1/2c chopped parsley 1 st butter 1/2c Abita Amber (or any choice beer) 1/2c red wine 4 tbs oil salt pepper
2 medium pots 1 medium skillet 1 large skillet 1 roasting pan foil
Procedure (pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F) For Potatoes
- cut potatoes (skin on or off is up to you) - cover potatoes in a suitable pot, cover with water (no salt) - bring to boil, cook until tender (not too soft) - meantime; chop parsley, chop garlic, cube carrots, celery & onion, bring stock to boil, concasse tomatoes (optional) - drain potatoes - heat up a medium size skillet - 1 tbs of oil and sauté 1/2 of the chopped garlic to light brown - deglaze with beer (1/2 cup-less) & add potatoes - pour in enough stock to coat the bottom of the skillet - cook until liquid is evaporated
- heat up large skillet to sear chicken (until brown layer forms) - 2 tbs of oil, sear chicken on all sides - set aside - in the same skillet, add carrots, celery, onions & cook till translucent. Deglaze with stock (1/2 cup) - meantime; cut cabbage, cube tomatoes - add chicken, carrots, celery, onions to a roasting pan - sprinkle chopped parsley over chicken - cover with foil & cook in oven for 20 mins - season corn with salt & pepper, drizzle oil, wrap in foil, put in oven with chicken until tender
- heat up a medium pot, add 1 tbs of oil - salute garlic until light brown (1-2 mins) - deglaze with beer (1/2 cup-less) - add cabbage, salt & pepper, cover, cook until the cabbage starts to sweat (2-4 mins) - add enough stock to almost cover the cabbage - cover and cook until the cabbage is soft (some liquid left when cabbage is done is okay)
For Butter Sauce
- add remaining stock to a medium skillet, bring to boil - cube butter - remove stock from flame & add butter slowly (continuous mixing) - add cubed tomatoes once all the butter is melted into sauce
Raphael Nwadike “Hunger and Homelessness” (spoken word)
In our America, a vast majority of us go into debt Because we go to work, we get our checks, we spend what’s left Because in America most school systems aren’t taught how to properly invest And because of it the national debt and the student loan crisis are bubblin’ Meanwhile we can’t find common lines of agreements between democrats and republicans But even if they did agree, I wouldn’t jump to give a round of applause Because in our America we tend to put bandages over the problems Without really fixing the cause Now we got Flint Michigan Man this situation put America in a bad position They messed up, misplaced disposition They killing people off like the spanish Inquisition. 57% of Flint Michigan is African American and 41.6% were below the poverty line That really sends chills down my spine Because if you look at the effects of lead poisoning in white communities they don’t align. Rick Snyder’s bought cheaper pipes and now the people suffering He ain’t do nothing and the progress still buffering I wonder why the community don’t do nothing Gotta help them out man, show them some loving All people think about is money and themselves Bodies stacking up just like books on these shelves From social justice to environmental I can’t find the mental capacity inside of me to figure out why all these bad ideas sound like good ones But that’s none of my business Killing everyone off: men, women, and children Do you wanna help, or just stand by, make the decision
A Women’s World by Jessie Frank
The way mother nature twirls The weighted planet she curls Is action packed It’s packed with beauty That’s not snooty Packed with grace That’s ours to embrace Packed with love From up above Packed with strength There aren’t any constraints Yeah, you know it? You know it’s a woman’s world Rosa Parks sat in front of the bus And that action created so much change for us. With her unspoken strength She showed so much guts Because its ohhhh….soooo a woman’s world Action packed Packed with beauty Packed with grace (sound out and feel each word) Packed with love Packed with strength God bless her precious dusts NOW, Hilary is running for President? I’m telling you this segment is all relevant She’s reaping the benefits of pounded pavements Elevating herself from containment Even with past major ail-ment Hater her or love her She’s also a testament It’s always been a woman’s world Action packed Packed with beauty Packed with grace (sound out and feel each word) Packed with love Packed with strength To date, women are graduating universities At a much more faster rate You see? When you know your worth You’ll stop giving people discounts
You’ll move heaven and earth There will be no coupons to be clipped Don’t let them strip you and dip you Flip you and reverse you And then? Nip you Because its ohhhh...soooo a woman’s world Action packed Packed with beauty Packed with grace (sound out and feel each word) Packed with love Packed with strength All of us came from a woman And some are continuously trying to get back in Just to feel some skin Just so they can say... I win All while struggling from within Trying elevate themselves from a woman’s world But guess what? It’s still...ohhhh...soooo a woman’s world Action packed Packed with beauty Packed with grace (sound out and feel each word) Packed with love Packed with strength Now the remaining issue is equal pay They say, Marginal strategy, (listen to me) implemented passionately Outperforms, brilliant strategy, implemented marginally We still have ways to go From woman to woman? Sister to sister From this generation to the next Let’s project our beauty, our grace, our love, and our strength To propel and uplift this woman’s world to a greater nature… And oh...James Brown you a damn liar It ain’t no man’s world It’s ohhhh...soooooo a woman’s world Packed with......beauty Packed with......grace (sound out and feel each word) Packed with..... love Packed with......strength
I am Jessie Frank. I am a writer and the author of Purple Mango - A Journey of Poems. Mixtape Blue
The art responds to our society...
Published on Jul 1, 2016
R Culture is a quarterly culture and art web-magazine, aimed to show-off the amazingly creative people we are lucky to meet. We also hope to...